Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, it’s hard to go back to your daily life. Every day you’re not off to someplace new, you can’t help but wonder when your next trip will be. But all those destinations on your bucket list can be expensive, so we’ve come up with some tips on how to save money and make your travel dreams a reality.
Make a budget
One of the key things to managing your finances is to come up with a monthly budget. With this budget, you would set aside a predetermined amount for all of your expenses; things like mortgage/rent, taxes, groceries, etc. People mostly focus on their day-to-day expenses and tend to forget items that come up every year such as presents and vacations.
By building vacation savings into your monthly budget, you’ll be putting funds aside for your travels. This way, you will always have some cash available that can be used on things like airfare and hotel reservations.
Cut your spending
While putting together your budget, it is important to take a look at your spending. Try tracking your expenses for a month or two so you know where your money is going. To do this, just write down everything you’re spending money on. Once you know your spending habits, you can start making adjustments.
Most people will quickly realize that they’re spending way too much money on certain categories such as eating out or entertainment. If you can cut back your spending on some of these things, you can then take the money you saved and put it towards future travel plans. Think about it… instead of having that coffee at work every day, you could be sipping on an espresso in Italy!
Pick up a side hustle
If your spending is reasonable but you’re still struggling to build up your travel fund, maybe you should pick up a side hustle. It’s a little easier said than done, for sure, but if you’re able to pick up more hours, you can spend that extra money on travel. Alternatively, maybe there’s another job or side hustle you can pick up to earn some extra cash.
Set a deadline and save accordingly
Remember how we talked about having a budget and saving money for travel every month? You can take it a step further by budgeting specifically for your next trip. Let’s say your plan is to go to Japan in a year and you’ve estimated that it’ll cost about ₱20,000. That means you need to save at least ₱2,000 every single month to have ₱20,000 (2,000 X 12 = 24,000) saved up by the time you depart.
As mentioned above, you can dip into your vacation budget as your eventual pre-travel expenses come up, but the idea is to have a deadline and save accordingly. If you realize during your budgeting process that you won’t be able to save up enough money in time, it’s recommended that you either delay your travels or pick a cheaper destination.
Use your credit card to your advantage
When using your credit cards responsibly, you can easily earn travel rewards. Using a travel rewards credit card is typically the best choice since it’ll allow you to earn points that you can then use to redeem for travel. There are even specific cards that will allow you to partner with Airline loyalty programs such as WestJet Rewards and Aeroplan. Don’t forget, travel reward credit cards usually include travel insurance so that’s an additional cost you’re saving on.
Cash back credit cards are also a valuable tool as long as you take the cash back you’ve earned and then put it towards your travel budget. Remember, rewards are never worth if you’re not paying your full balance at the end of each month. The interest charges will cost you too much!
Compare flights and hotels
No matter where you travel to, every dollar you save on expenses helps. Here at Skyscanner, we have 1,200+ travel partners, so every time you search for a flight, hotel, or car rental, you’re guaranteed the best price. Another tip is to take advantage of some of our other features such as price alerts, searching everywhere, and searching for the cheapest month. These search tips are pretty simple, but they can save you a lot of money on your travels.
With these tips on how to save money for travel, you’ll be ready to travel without spending a fortune. The question is, where will you go next?